Friday, June 29, 2012

[Up North] 4th of July Weekend: Elephant Ears and Everything Else

Our Up North series will highlight good eats to seek out on your weekend roadtrips as you head Up North – that ambiguous, nebulous region in Michigan where everyone has, or has a friend that has, a cottage on a lake somewhere.  

tough choice
I went the first 25 years or so of my life thinking that all of my friends that I'd met along the way had grown up with summers full of elephant ears and blue moon ice cream. I had one west coast friend ask me "are you getting an actual elephant ear or is that a term for something else?" after I had informed her I was munching on an elephant ear. Blue moon was an equally foreign concept to my non-Midwest friends.

Land of the free, home of the blue moon
Elephant ears are pretty wildly available so unless you lived a deprived childhood void of any carnies or fairs, chances are you have some iteration of an elephant ear.

On the other hand, Blue Moon ice cream, and its multi-colored cousin Superman, do trace their origins to the upper Midwest region. Who knew? All these years I thought I was eating Blue Moon because it was delicious, not because I was preordained to like it due to geography.

The flavors of Blue Moon and Superman (Blue Moon is one of the three flavors of Superman - it's the Inception of ice cream flavors) are a subject of much debate. Wikipedia lists a wide range of potential flavors for Blue Moon from Fruit Loops or cardamom to cake frosting or bubble gum. Gun to my head, I'm going with almond as my best guess.

Superman 'dat cone!
So whether you're heading up to the Dells in Wisconsin, cruising along the Blue Star Highway along Lake Michigan, or headed to Sleeping Bear Dunes this weekend, keep an eye out for these summertime treats. Suggested pairings include demolition derbies, fireworks, and s'mores.

Got a favorite spot where you get your Blue Moon on? or your favorite local ice cream spot? Tell us about it in the comments.


  1. Quite the "sweet" start to the morning. That ice cream looks prettty interesting and I bet it's awesome!

    1. oh it is definitely awesome! You will have to be on the look out for some next time you are back in MI.

  2. I'm convinced that violet and/or lavender are key ingredients in Blue Moon. I've made violet/lavender ice cream before and it tasted a lot like Blue Moon. Also, I recently ate something that was garnished with violet foam that made the dish smell like Blue Moon or Fruit Loops.

  3. that's a good guess, I could see that being a possibility. I have never made my own ice cream but this could be a good excuse to go ahead and buy one.